Ryan Mallett is New England's second backup quarterback. Brian Hoyer owns the top backup spot.
However, I'd be interested in seeing a poll amongst Patriots fans, asking them which quarterback they prefer as the go-to backup.
I can't predict the results of this hypothetical poll, but I can tell you how I'd vote: I like Mallett.
Truth be told, I wasn't happy with either of them until a few weeks ago. But, Mallett has made significant strides in the preseason. The guy's been playing hard and delivering results.
Against the Saints, Mallett threw 89 yards, but coughed up a pick. After that, he settled down and became more methodical with his decision-making. Against the Eagles, he threw 105 yards and a touchdown.
He really hit his groove against the Buccaneers, spearheading a late comeback attempt with two memorable touchdowns to Jeremy Ebert and Jesse Holley.
Although Mallett isn't racking up victories, he's racking up plenty of respect. He's forcing fans to look at him in a new light and consider him as someone who could be extremely valuable to the team.
It's too soon to tell how valuable he really is, but he's certainly earned a closer look. He's using this offseason the right way; he's taking a stand and making his presence felt.
If an injury bug sidelines Tom Brady for four regular-season games, I have no doubt that Mallett could fill in nicely and put two or three of those games in the win column.